The Grammy-winning singer Roberta Flack, whose hits include Killing Me Softly with His Song, has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease, and can no longer sing.
According to a statement by her representatives, the progressive disease “has made it impossible to sing and not easy to speak”.
“But it will take a lot more than ALS to silence this icon,” they added.
A documentary about Flack’s life is set to debut at a film festival in New York next week. Flack, 85, is also releasing a children’s book in January.
Motor neurone disease breaks down nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that make muscles work, leading to progressive paralysis and death.
Flack had several No 1 hits in the 1970s and produced 20 studio albums. She has won four Grammys and was honoured with a lifetime achievement award in 2020.
The singer was also the first artist to win two consecutive Record of the Year trophies: in 1973 for First Time I Ever Saw Your Face and in 1974 for Killing Me Softly with His Song.